Two regional businesses are backing a young duathlete from County Durham who has secured his places in the European and World Championships in 2015. Durham Markets and North East-based Azione Custom Cycles are supporting 18 year old Joel Atkin, from Craghead near Stanley, as he embarks on his most challenging year to date. Joel qualified to compete for Team GB in the 2015 Alcobendas ETU Sprint Distance Duathlon European Championships in April in Madrid. Also, following a challenging qualifier at the Dambuster Duathlon in March 2015, he will represent Team GB at the 2015 Adelaide ITU Standard Distance Duathlon World Championships in October.

He commented:

“I’m thrilled to have secured my places in both the European and World Championships, and now more keen than ever to deliver the best performances of my career.” 
“The support of Azione Custom Cycles and Durham Markets help in different ways, but both enable me to fulfil my ambition to compete at the highest level possible.”

Colin Wilkes, Managing Director of Durham Markets, said:

“We’ve known Joel and his family for a number of years, he’s often helped us with events in Durham. Now, it’s exciting to be backing him in these elite competitions. He’s worked hard to become a world class athlete, and we’re looking forward to following his achievements in the coming year.”

David Anderson, of Azione Custom Cycles, added:

“Joel’s a local lad who’s going places and we want to support him because we admire his dedication and commitment. We’re equipping him with a bike designed for time trials, with a highly-aerodynamic frame, to give him as much advantage as possible in competition. And we’re looking forward to seeing him competing on one of our bikes at the highest level of competition around the world.”

Joel has competed in athletics events for a number of years. In 2011, he entered his first triathlon events, progressing in 2013 to the longer ‘standard distance triathlon’. Following his success in the European duathlon (run, cycle run) qualifier at Oulton Park in October 2014, he qualified for the Madrid event in April 2015. Joel also plans to enter his first iron man event in 2015, an event with a total distance of 70.3 miles, including a half marathon.